Belgians taking part in the Eurobarometer survey point to unemployment and the general economic situation of Belgium as the 2 main problems the country is facing, closely followed by retirement age and contributions. They rate their own financial situation better than that of the country or of the EU. The survey, which encourages citizens to talk about their own situation, the socio-economic challenges facing the country, and those resulting from its membership of the EU, took place in Belgium from November 8th to November 17th, 2014, and questioned 1,001 people. For 42% of those surveyed, unemployment is Belgium’s main problem (45% of people polled in the EU’s 28 member countries), followed by the financial situation of the country for 25% (EU28:24%) , and retirement age and contributions for 24% of those polled (EU28: 11%).
At the same time, 75% of Belgians feel the financial health of their household is “very good” or “rather good,” while only 30% find the economic context in Belgium to be “very good” or “rather good”, and 24% feel the same about the European economy.
The assessment of the financial situation in Belgium and in the EU by Belgian citizens has dramatically worsened between the spring 2014 survey and the autumn 2014 survey. Positive ratings for the Belgian economy by those surveyed fell 14 points between June and November 2014. Positive ratings for the European economy fell 7 points over the same period.
It is worth noting that Belgians are more pessimistic than their European counterparts when it comes to assessing both the nation’s economy (30%; EU28:34%) and that of Europe. (24%; EU28: 30%).
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)